After dabbling in fashion, arts and media, Bandra based Diya Dembla found herself digging deeper to find her true calling. She tried her hand at skin care and discovered, to her surprise that she was great at it. And that was the birth of Skin Kitchen – an exclusive outfit that uses natural, organic products and offers customized skin and hair treatments. I had a chat with her to know more…
You started Skin Kitchen in 2008 and the first independent outlet was launched in 2011. Tell me about the journey…
I was intuitive when it came to seeing people’s skin. Just by looking at the shape, color and nature of a zit, I could tell where it came from. I realized I am good at ‘something.’ I started Skin Kitchen from home in 2008. And after years of hard work, I finally gathered courage to invest all my savings to launch the first outlet in 2011.
You mention on your website “If it’s not good enough to eat, it’s not good enough for your skin” Can you expand on that?
You, me, we are all made up of simple organic matter; the same matter that the plant kingdom is made up of. When you match the two, your body is very receptive to it and the results show without any side effects or damage. Synthetics are harsh, aggressive, pushy and fake. Trust me, your body instantly knows that and after a point reacts to that.
You also mention that all treatments are customized to skin type…
Yes, no two people have the same skin. So we customize to deliver what people’s skin needs. A pregnant woman with changing hormones will be different from a teen, and that’s what Skin Kitchen understands.
You want to own organic farms to fulfill the dream of “from soil to your skin” – where do you currently source your ingredients from and what is the one rarest ingredient that you use in your product/treatments?
The organic farmers market is where I usually source my products from, else from individual suppliers who have excellent quality crops. Rarest is pure Neem oil. After hunting and hunting, I’ve started making this myself.
What’s the quirkiest product you have tried in your hunt for innovative treatments?
The quirkiest I have seen and tested is snake venom for pigmented skin. It stings, it’s crazy and I don’t think Skin Kitchen will ever use it; it took me by surprise.
What would you recommend we try at Skin Kitchen this summer?
Every summer we have the much talked about Mango Mousse Facial. Mangoes are rich in antioxidants and iron and the instantly adds a glow to your face. Especially if you have dark under eyes. For troubled skin we have the Cucumber Facial. It’s calming and soothing and keeps pores tight and protected from summer rashes.
What was the best advice you received when starting Skin Kitchen?
Best advice was from my husband, ‘Only explorers find treasures.’ It’s rare you know to have a man who pushes you because he thinks you have what it takes. My husband is all that.
And what is the one advice you are glad you did not take?
Compromise on price. We are not cheap. But that’s why we can afford organic Alphonso mangoes in our facials. And that’s why those conscious of quality come to us, time and time again.
What is the one thing that you firmly believe in but others disagree with you on?
Natural ingredients are effective. Oh! People have no idea! Working on post pregnancy pigmentation with one client, you cannot imagine what magic we’ve created with her skin using 100% natural ingredients.
How do you see Skin Kitchen evolving in the future?
A Skin Kitchen skin-food counter. I’d like to see this set up soon. Like food for your tummy, you can start buying skin-food at various outlets.
One super special tip or home remedy you would like to share with MumbaiMag readers?
Try a simple oatmeal and strawberry scrub. Soak oatmeal and strawberries together in 2 tablespoons of milk. After two hours, crush both together. Store in fridge by adding two drops of coconut oil. Will last one week if refrigerated. Excellent for all skin types, except those allergic to strawberries or lactose. And yes, Less=More. Don’t get swayed by face washes, night creams and age repair serums. Let your pores breathe. Go one week/month without products of any kind and see your skin quality improve.
So if you try this Oatmeal and Strawberry Scrub or have tried Skin Kitchen, tell us about it!
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